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Toyota Australia slumps to 99m profit

By Barry Park, 16 Jun 2017 Industry

Toyota Australia posts a $99 million profit_wide

The Aussie dollar and looming manufacturing shutdown limits Australia's biggest brand to just $370 profit on every car it sold last financial year

TOYOTA Australia made an average of $373 in profit for every car it built in its last full financial year, the company has revealed.

The company revealed today it had earned $99 million in profit for the year ending on March 31, 2017 – it pegs its financial performance on the Japanese financial calendar – based on a combined 265,440 cars sold as part of its retail, Lexus luxury sub-brand and export businesses.

The carmaker will end more than 55 years of local assembly on October 6.

Toyota said the big slide in profit, well down on the previous year’s $236 million result – the second best set of numbers in the car maker’s history –  was in part because of $131 million in restructuring costs associated with the Altona assembly line and engine casting facility closure.

It was also hurt by what it called “adverse foreign exchange” from its Middle East export program that shipped 55,445 locally made Camrys, well down on the previous year's 66,605, to places such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

"The company is well progressed in its transition to a sales and distribution company and will continue to be a strong force in the Australian marketplace," Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner said in a statement.

Toyota’s result is in contrast to the $152.8 million result that Holden recently reported for its last full year as a manufacturer. Ford Australia is yet to report its result in the wake of shuttering its car making business in October last year.

Toyota was working towards the production of the last locally built Camry with the company goal of “last car = best global car”, it said.

"Our manufacturing team members have worked diligently to ensure that our last Camry will be our best one yet," Buttner said.

Toyota is expected to launch the fully imported version of the Camry late this year. The shift from the locally made “Big Little Change” Camry is expected to usher in a new range of active and passive safety features, important for a car that has often featured in the monthly list of Australia’s best-selling vehicles.

Toyota posted a $437 million loss for 2014 in the wake of the 2013 announcement that it would follow Ford and Holden and shutter its australian manufacturing base in the wake of growing costs and the lack of viability of many of the parts makers supplying the company’s, and rivals’, production lines.

That included almost $900 million in restructuring costs as it severely wrote down the value of its manufacturing and engine casting facilities, and set aside the money it needed to pay for its employee redundancy program.

Toyota said it would have otherwise made a $266 million profit for the year.